Giant container cranes arrive in San Francisco Bay


The Zhen Hua 35 is now anchored in San Francisco Bay.

Kent German/CNET

Early this morning, an unusual ship carried an unusual cargo under the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco Bay. Secured to the deck of the Zhen Hua 35 were three container cranes bound for the Port of Oakland.

The Zhen Hua passed under the bridge just after 8 a.m. PT and then under the Bay Bridge a short time later. The ship is now anchored in the bay for a few days while the Port completes preparation for their installation at Oakland’s International Container Terminal.

Purchased from Shanghai-based ZPM for $30 million by the Stevedoring Services of America, which manages the offloading and loading of ships at the port, the cranes will be the tallest ever at Oakland with a lift height of 174 feet above the dock and a reach across a ship’s deck of 225 feet. Though the cranes traveled across the Pacific Ocean in the raised positions, the booms were lowered just offshore in order to fit under the bridges.

In a statement, SSA Containers President Edward DeNike said bigger cranes are needed at the country’s eighth busiest container port to handle giant ships that use the port (in April the MSC Anna was the largest container ship ever to call at Oakland). To make room for the new cranes, three older cranes will be removed.


Squeezing under the Bay Bridge 

Port of Oakland

“Taller cranes are needed for efficiently handling cargo that arrives on ultra-large container ships,” DeNike said. “This new infrastructure is a commitment to the Port that we will continue our maritime business at Oakland well into the future.”

The Port hasn’t said when the Zhen Hua will dock and the cranes will be installed, but I’ll try to get photos when it happens.

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